A Sense of Intermediacy: New Intermediate Courses for Photoshop and Illustrator CC

It was a windfall week in video training if you're ready to move past Deke's beginner-level courses and you're using Creative Cloud. This week, online training company released CC-friendly versions of both Photoshop One-on-One: Intermediate and Illustrator One-on-One: Intermediate.  

The Photoshop course tackles those next-level features like the potentially useful Content-Aware tools, adjusting photographic tone with the Levels command, adding and managing text in your graphic, creative control via Layer Styles, and printing (to mention a few subjects). Click the image below to see the full table of contents at 

Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

Meanwhile, the Illustrator course covers vital layout features like Layers and Groups, the controlling your objects with the Pathfinder panel, understanding Swatches and Stacking order, the oh-so-cool and useful Gradient features, and (again) more. You can click this image to see the full TOC of the Illustrator course: 

Illustrator CC One-on-One: Intermediate

If you're not quite ready to become a member of, but you're interested in taking this dekeInstruction for a test drive, I have two useful ideas for you: 

First, you can get a free week's subscription to by going to A week will let you peruse these two courses, as well as the bajillion other videos available. (At least, it was a bajillion last time I checked. Probably more than that now.) 

Also, always unlocks a certain number of movies in any new course. For instance, you can check out "Using the Pattern Generator" without being a member (temporary or otherwise). The movies that are listed in blue in any course TOC are free to all.  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 243: Recreating the Creative Cloud Logo in Illustrator

Recreating the Creative Cloud Logo in Illustrator

Whatever you're feeling about Adobe's Creative Cloud, you gotta admit it's got one handsome logo. In fact, it's got a logo that happens to be the perfect Adobe Illustrator Exercise of Awesomeness---regardless of what version of Illustrator you are using. In this week's Deke's Techniques episode, Deke demonstrates how to recreate that logo from scratch, using nothing but the dekeImparted wisdom in this free movie and any version of Illustrator back to the original Creative Suite. 

And as a bonus, Deke is sharing this handy file, which he originally created for his signature "hold up pictures in the intro" intro, but which contains handy visual reminders for every step of the process, each on a separate artboard. Check 'em out: 

Read on for the rest of the illustrated Illustrator steps: Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Deke's Techniques 241: Drawing an Orthogonal Cube with the Line Tool in Illustrator

This week, Deke's free Technique is about how to draw a perfectly orthogonal (that is, right-angled) cube using nothing but the line tool (and some handy dragging, duplicating, and rotating) in Illustrator. It's one of those things everyone should know how to do, and after watching this video, you will. Who knows, maybe it will come in handy one day when you are tasked with designing a cover for The New Yorker. (Sure, that's all it takes!)

The project starts with nothing but this simple straight line, drawn with the Line Segment tool in Illustrator:

Draw a segment in Illustrator

If you can draw that, then the rest is just variations on a cubular theme. Check it out:  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Illustrator One-on-One: Fundamentals, updated for Creative Cloud (Still Thriving for Earlier Versions)

On Friday, released the CC version of Deke's Illustrator One-on-One: Fundamentals course, which covers useful foundations for vector-based drawing in Illustrator from basic artboard management and interface navigation, to drawing with the line and shape tools, placing text, tracing line art, getting started with the pen tool, and more. 

Welcome to Illustrator One-on-One Fundamentals

If you're not a member of, you can get a free week trial at to check it out. If you're not a member of Creative Cloud, Deke's earlier titles---going back to CS3---are available from this playlist I created:

A playlist of Deke's Illustrator Fundamentals course for multiple versions

The Fundamentals course has all you need to feel like you might try one of Deke's free Illustrator-based Deke's Techniques as well. If you're new to Creative Cloud you may be thinking it's time to investigate something besides Photoshop for your creative endeavors.  Read more » 

. Tagged with:

Friday Fundamentals: Tracing Rasterized Line Art in Illustrator

Today's Friday Fundamentals (still Friday here in Colorado, plus I get a bonus hour because I'm really a Californian) celebrates the release of Deke's updated Illustrator CC One-on-One: Fundamentals course. And because I'm in charge, I'm going to cover one of the first things I was ever interested in doing with Illustrator: tracing artwork. 

Tracing Line Art in Illustrator

Tracing is handy when you have a rasterized bit of art (i.e. art that's made out of pixels) that you'd like to turn into clean Illustrator vector-based goodness. Especially if redrawing in Illustrator is beyond the limits of your time, patience, or talent (as in my case). Speaking of my case, I was trying to duplicate a logo for a baseball league, which I inherited from a person who only left behind a tiny 150-pixel GIF file when his kids grew out of little league. In Chapter 6 of Deke's updated course, he uses an intricate butterfly he drew with Sharpie and paper, then scanned into a TIF file. The process is the same. 

Changing line art or other rasterized graphics into vectors has some advantages, as you can imagine. The biggest of these involves, well, making the biggest art. Like the giant laminated posters I was trying to plaster all over town to encourage baseball registration. Since vectors are mathematically defined, you can blow your graphics up as large as you like and keep all the beautiful smoothness your baseball bats, butterflies, or other beauties deserve. 

Here are the key things to know about tracing in Illustrator that I learned from Deke's course, which apply to CS6 (and really CS5 if you can get over the interface differences), as well:  Read more » 

. Tagged with: